Julia Nelmark Chief Executive Officer, NMLS #1839946

As the CEO for White Earth Investment Initiative, Julia Nelmark is responsible for administration of all corporate lending activities. She also serves as president of Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation (MMCDC) and previously served as the Director, New Markets Tax Credit Program. Originally from Illinois, Ms. Nelmark received her bachelor’s degree from Benedictine University, where she was Accounting Major of the Year. She received her CPA certification and went on to receive a master’s of management degree from Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University. Contact Information 119 Graystone Plaza Suite 100 Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 Phone: (218) 847-3191 Fax: (218) 847-3192 Email Julia Nelmark

Audra Tonihka Vice President of Lending, NMLS #1492850

Audra Tonihka implements the commercial, residential and consumer Lending programs and manages the business Incubator for White Earth Investment Initiative. She is an enrolled tribal member who grew up in the community of White Earth and received a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Minnesota-Morris. Prior to joining the White Earth Investment Initiative staff, Tonihka served as a loan officer for the tribal credit union. She was also named by Finance & Commerce magazine to its list of Minnesota’s Top Women in Finance of 2016

a-tonihka-award Contact Information 407 Main Street E P.O. Box 38 Ogema, MN 56569-0038 Phone: (218) 983-6021 Fax: (218) 983-4021 Email Audra Tonihka

Heather Anderson Lending Assistant, NMLS #898402

As Lending Assistant for White Earth Investment Initiative, Heather Anderson is responsible for the organization’s consumer lending portfolio.  Anderson meets with potential consumer borrowers to determine their needs, assists with applications, gathers required documentation, and generates loan closing documents.  Prior to joining the White Earth Investment Initiative staff, Anderson served as Personal Banker at her family’s local bank and as Staff Accountant for the Shooting Star Casino and Event Center.  Anderson has a degree in Finance from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and lives with her husband and children near Mahnomen, MN. Contact Information 407 Main Street E P.O. Box 38 Ogema, MN 56569-0038 Phone: (218) 983-4020 Fax: (218) 983-4021 Email Heather Anderson

Sue Trnka Lead Community Services Coordinator

Sue Trnka is a HUD-certified homeownership advisor and an IRS-certified VITA site coordinator who leads homebuyer education classes, meets individually with potential homebuyers and oversees operation of the White Earth Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site. She has a history of community leadership and involvement, including serving in city government, participation on local boards and in area service clubs, and a long-time commitment to the local nonprofit sector. Trnka has a degree in Management from the University of Phoenix, Online Campus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her three teenage sons and three sassy felines. Contact Information 718 Washington Avenue Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 Phone: (218) 844-7029 Fax: (218) 847-3192 Email Sue Trnka    

Jodi Lunde, Community Services Coordinator 

Jodi Lunde is a valued team member in facilitating the Homebuyer Education, Homeownership Counseling, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs.   Lunde comes to WEII with a wealth of experience in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects, compliance, asset management, and program resources available in our region.  Jodi graduated from White Earth Tribal & Community College with her degree and a double major in Business/Humanities.  She lives on the White Earth Reservation on her hobby farm and cherishes being a grandmother.  Contact Information 718 Washington Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Phone: (218) 844-7057.  Fax: (218) 847-3192.  Email Jodi Lunde


Four of White Earth Investment Initiative’s board members also are members of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.

Dean Johnson Board Member

dean_johnsonJohnson is a tribal member and served as the first-ever economic development director for the White Earth Reservation Tribal Government. Prior to assuming that position in 2007, Johnson served as the longtime administrator for Mahnomen, Minn., the reservation’s largest community. He is retired.


Jessica Tolifson Board Member

Jessica Tolifson is an enrolled tribal member and lifelong resident of the White Earth Reservation. She has an accounting degree and is currently the Quality Assurance Business Manager for the White Earth RBC Natural Resources division. She has years of management and director-level experience in both enterprise and government business and accounting.


Melinda Iverson Board Member

Mindy Iverson is the tribal human resources director and has more than 20 years of career experience as a human resources professional in Native American gaming and resorts, tribal governments, and retail industries. She has served as a member and board member of many organizations, including the Tribal Utility Commission; the White Earth Rediscovery Board; and the White Earth Outdoor Unity Team Non-Profit Organization.


Doug Fabre Board Member

doug_fabreDoug Fabre is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and a longtime resident of the Reservation community. He worked for Qwest telephone company and a tribally owned building supply company, of which he later served on the board of directors following retirement. He is a veteran and active in the VFW Club. 


Robert H. Aitken III, J.D., Board Member

Rob is Executive Director of Leech Lake Financial Services, a tribal loan fund and financial education provider in Cass Lake, Minn. He is a licensed attorney and has significant experience in the private and public sectors, including tribal government. Rob graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., and the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND. He is a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.

Julia Nelmark, Board Member

CEO Julia Nelmark also serves as a member of the board.